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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  February 19, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST

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-oh, thanks, flo. -mm-hmm. jamie, don't forget to clean the fridge when you're done. she seems nice. she seems nice. [ door closes ] she's actually pretty nice. oh. yeah. this sunday the turmoil pr president trump back on the campaign trail thrilling supporters. >> people want to take back control of their countries, and they want to take back control of their lives. >> while at town halls, his critics worry. >> ever since the election, i have felt like a passenger in a car being driven by a drunk driver. >> this after a week in which the president went back into the intel community for leaking. fired his national security advisor. lost his labor secretary and called the media the enemy of the american people. this morning i talked to
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president trump's chief of staff, reince priebus. >> also, senator john mccain said president trump needs to learn from histy about attacking a free press. >> that's how dictators get started. >> plus spy games. how serious is the rift between president trump and the intelligence community? >> the last thing they need is to have a president who questions their patriotism to this country and to him. >> i'll talk to the former head of the cia. and stress test, how politics is getting all of us stressed out. but some a lot more than others. joining me for inside and analysis are david brooks, columnist for "the new york times." amy walter, national editor of the cook political report. huge hue wit and former democratic congresswoman, donna edwards. welcome to sunday. it is "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington,
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the longest running show in television history, celebrating it's 70th year. this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. it's only been four weeks, but already we're running out of adjectives to describe the trump presidency and this past week did nothing to clear things up. late yesterday president trump returned to familiar territory, addressing adoring supporters in florida, far away from protesters or reporter questions. mr. trump is hardly the first question to seek validation from campaign style events so early in his presidency. the last three presidents all chose to escape washington early in the first months of office. but none were dealing with the kind of self-induced crisises he is facing right now. trump forced to react to react to a report and realized that
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congressional republicans were becoming more em bolden to distance themselves from the president and investigate his ties to russia and he watched his poll numbers go to historic lows. it is no surprise that the president sought to go back to do what he does best, communicate to the american people, first through a televised news conference and at yesterday's rally. his team called a campaign rally. more than 1,350 days before the next presidential election. >> despite all their lies, misrepresentations and false stories, they could not defeat us in the primaries and they could not defeat us in the general election. we will continue to win, win, win. >> mr. trump is hoping to show up his base after a bruising week and to put pressure on republican lawmakers who are returning home and being greeted by an angry opposition. >> ever since the election i
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have felt like a passenger in a car being driven by a drunk driver. >> this week mr. trump returned to a well worn play book. he held a 77-minute flood the zone style news conference and much of it defending his own performance. >> this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. >> and the president selected and targeted enemies, including the intelligence community. >> the leaks are absolutely real. the news is fake because so much of the news is fake. >> and then there is the media. in a tweet on friday, the president called the media, quote, "the enemy of the american people". >> they have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda. >> but he can't escape the governing problems that pushed his job approval rating before 40% in several rolls after just 30 days in office. white house infighting and
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chaos, a rejection of his travel ban by the courts and a fing of his national security advisor. then there are the multiplying questions on russia. at least seven congressional committees, led by republicans, say they are investigating issues related to either russia, former national security advisor, michael flynn, or the handling of information. mr. trump repeated by was pressed on whether anyone from his campaign had contact with russian officials, and he would not directly answer the question. >> well, i had nothing to do with it. i have nothing to do with russia. i told you. i have no deals there. i don't know anything. >> so you are not aware of any contacts during the course of the election. >> how many times do i have to answer this question? >> can you say yes or no on this? >> to the best of my knowledge, no person ideal with does. >> republicans are not exactly rushing to defend the president. >> the president said that
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nobody he knew of was in contact with russian officials. do you believe him? >> i have no idea. >> and joining me now is president trump's chief of staff, reince priebus. welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> good morning, dhchuck. >> let me start with the issues of mike flynn. you were on this program just before the inauguration and here's what you told viewers at the time. >> i have talked to general fly flynn. none of that came up, the subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the obama administration did not come up in the conversation. >> so there was no challenge of american policy currently by mr. flin? >> none. >> obviously now we know that was not true. you clearly were misled. walk me through this. when did you know you had been misled? >> some time after january 27th.
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it was -- our legal counsel had a heads up that something wasn't adding up with his story. and so our legal department went into a review of the situation and some time after that when sal sally yates refuseds to do her job as attorney general two days later we had to get rid of her. and then the legal department came back and said that they didn't see anything wrong with what was actually said. but then we started thinking about whether or not michael flynn was being straight with us, and that's when we started asking a lot of questions and sort of deposing michael flynn and figuring out what he knew or what he didn't know. he maintained the fact that he never talked to the russian ambassador about sanctions, but still something wasn't adding up and eventually we determined that he did, in fact, talk about
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the sanctions, even though we didn't believe that it was illegal. the fact was it turned more or less into a conversation about whether or not he was being honest with us and the vice president, and the president asked for his resignation and we got it. >> did you read those transcripts yourself? >> i can't answer that question. but i can assure you that i am fully aware of the situation and we determined that he wasn't being straight with the vice president and others, and that's why we asked for his resignation. >> why was there more than a week? why did more than a week go by before the vice president was informed of this issue? >> well, i think he was always aware of the issue as to whether or not he talked about sanctions. i mean, that was an ongoing conversation. he was aware of the fact that the fbi interviewed michael flynn. the legal department started
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reviewing the matter to get a report on whether or not anything was actually done wrong and whether or not he, in fact, talked to the russian ambassador about sanctions. at some point after we were first tipped off and got to the point of reviewing whether he was being honest or not after we got the report back from the white house counsel, that's when we looped in -- or that's when the vice president was brought into the conversation more fully in regard to whether or not michael flynn was honest. >> waiting that long, do you -- do you regret that it looks like that the vice president is essentially not in the loop? >> no, no. the vice president is in the loop on everything, chuck. i mean, it happened so fast. i mean, what happened was the legal department was tipped off. they looked into the legality of it. the actual investigation was ended almost immediately, so there was no investigation. it was a matter of whether it was legal. but then when we found out that, hey, he may have talked to the russian ambassador, that's when he started having the conversations with the vice
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president as to whether he was being honest or not. it felt like it happened very quickly and we made a determination very quickly. >> do you still believe this was an honest mistake by mr. flin or are you concerned it is something more nefarious. >> my view is, and i each n'm n expert on the logan act, but our legal department looked at it. what he did was not illegal, but it was the fact that he wasn't straight or honest, and i just found it hard to believe that you would have a conversation with the russian ambassador and not remember it. so either way, either you don't remember or you weren't honest. either way, it was an unsustainable place to be and the vice president made a decision to ask for his resignation and he got it. but between all that time the president got a lot of things done, keystone, dakota. we had the keystone and dakota
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pipeline begin. we had a hiring freeze. we had a deregulation executive order. there were so many things also happening to the good, chuck, that it would be nice to talk about some of the accomplishments which in 30 days have been remarkable. >> i want to -- i'll give you some time to get to that, but i want to get back to mr. flin. is one of the reasons why you ended up having to let him go, when he was interviewed by the fbi on the 24th before the sally yates warning, did he mislead the fbi or lie to the fbi? is that one of the issues that came up during the deposing? >> that's a different issue for the fbi to answer, chuck. i mean, i'm just not in a position to answer it. certainly we've talked about that issue with leadership at the fbi. but i'm not in a position to talk about that with you. but, listen, we have talked about this. i think we have laid it out very clearly. and now it's up to the doj and
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the fbi to take it any further, if that's what they do. >> by the way, anybody else inside the white house been interviewed by the fbi over the last couple of months? >> not that i know of, chuck. i think the answer is no to that. i would know. >> okay. i want to go to the press conference on the issue of russia. the president never seemed to answer the question that was asked three or four times there, which was did anybody -- does he know for sure that anybody on his campaign, does he -- can he say definitively that nobody in his campaign, nobody he's been associated with had any contacts with any russian agents? >> no. first of all, the answer is no. and we don't know of any, any contacts with russian agents. and that gets to that new york times story, chuck. we have spent days talking about a story that says our campaign had constant contact with russian spies. and i can tell you, i have talked to the top levels of the intelligence community, and they
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have assured me that that new york times story was grossly overstated and inaccurate and totally wrong. i know what the intelligence committees in the house and the senate were told by the fbi, and i know what i was told and what i will tell you is that story was totally baloney. and, in fact, deven núñez, the chairman of the house intelligence community went on the record after he was informed by the fbi as to that story and what did he say? he said it was total garbage. this is what we're talking about, chuck. it's not all media. it's not everyone involved in the media. it is this sort of fake news stuff that is enormously important, that when you get a front page story of the new york times without a single source on the record saying that your campaign had constant contact. they didn't say one contact.
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they didn't say two contacts. but to say constant contacts and then the next day the wall street journal comes out and says that the president of the united states is being cut out of information by the intelligence community, then later in the day all of the main departments of the intelligence community says that's not true. this is what we're dealing with while we're putting in a lobbying ban, while we're freezing federal government employe employees, while we're getting the economy back on track, we're talking about these stories and whether steve bannon and i get along or not. people in kenosha, wisconsin around worried about that. they want to see jobs and money back in their pocket and that's what we're trying to do. >> the associate press has a story that they are asking for a preservation of any communication, anything that could have any ties, either during, right now and since you
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have taken office, during the transition of the campaign to make sure all records are preserved regarding russia. are you aware of this letter? and have you already acted upon it? >> yeah, i'm aware of it and they have to do that. those are things that richard burr and that team has to do. they need to do some things that satisfy their committee that they have looked into something, and then they could have meetings behind closed doors that they also do in the intel committee and then they'll issue a report. as long as they do their job and we cooperate with them, they'll issue a report and the report will say there is nothing there. i know what they were told by the fbi because i have talked to the fbi. i know what they are saying. i wouldn't be on your show right now telling you that we have been assured that there is nothing to "the new york times" story if i actually wasn't assured. by the way, if i didn't actually have clearance to make this comment.
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i'm not a sloppy guy. i dot my is and cross my tees. i was a 15-year litigator before i came the chairman. >> let me ask a question about the president's tweet. i'll put it up here. the fake news need yeah is not my even mooe. it is the evnemy of the america people. there is press criticism all the time. it happens with many presidents. but let me ask this question this way. aren't you concerned that now that the president of the united states does not have the moral authority to travel around the world and express the openness for a free press in other countries. a free press is being challenged in turkey and russia. with the president of the united states trying to delegitimize the american press, does that not undercut his ability to spread freedom and advocate for press freedoms around the world?
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>> first of all, it is nothing new. thomas jefferson, abraham lincoln, john adams have all had issues with the press. the president believes in the first amendment. i believe in those things. we don't believe everyone is lousy in the media. but there are some things that are really bad, and we have tried to -- he categorizes that as fake news. what we have been through over the last ten days has been unbelievable, the leaks, the fake stories, the anonymous accusations, that stuff is bad, and that's what he is referring to. i know where he is coming from on this, but i can assure you he believes in the free press, the first amendment. he loves our constitution. we just want to get this stuff back on the rails and more honest in regard to these really big accusations that are coming at us. >> i know you believe all of this is press generated. do you not have a problem inside that west wing with leaks yourself? >> look, if there is a problem
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there, those people will have big issues. but the truth is is that we don't have problems in the west wing. i mean, you read about these stories that i don't get along with bannen. actually, we have really gangeled gangel -- gangeled as a team. the amount of dra that and spin you read about mostly in the washington daily gossip rags is unbelievable stuff, and it just isn't true and you read it every day and you wonder what alternative universe they are reporting on because it just isn't true. i think every west wing has different personalitiepersonali. you always have different kinds of people. but it doesn't mean that you don't ultimately get along, serve the president and want to make the american people proud. that's what we're doing every day. that's what we're trying to do every day. >> riens pree burks i am going to leave it there. thanks for coming behind enemy
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lines and we'll see you next time. >> i'm happy to be here. thank you, chuck. >> many republicans have been largely reluctant to criticize president trump, but not my next guest. senator mccain has taken plenty of incoming from mr. trump and has been willing to give it as well. here's what he had to say on friday and he founded to confront the threat posed by this old soviet union during the cold war. >> they would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarianism. they would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants and refugees and minority groups, especially mu muslims. they would be alarmed by the unwillingness to separate truth from lies. >> well, i talked to senator mccain yesterday and i began by
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asking him in that speech he was referring directly to president trump. >> i was certainly referring to the threats that we are now facing with this stated goals of this administration, which would upset the last 70 years of a new world order, which was established after world war ii, 70 years based on human rights, respect for the law, free trade, all of the things and as pekpecf this world order that took place after one of the most horrific, terrible wars in history. i'm for maintaining it and i'm afraid it is under assault from a variety of forces, including the russians. >> you say a variety of sources. you're being careful here. do you think the president agrees with you about the world order or not? >> i think many of his statements have been contradictory. some of them have indicated
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that. i'm very pleased with the national security team that he has around him who are here in munich, by the way. and general mattis and general kelly and the vice president gave a very good speech today. but i worry about statements which upset our friends at a time when the strains on the european union and europeans are greater than they have been since any time since the end of the cold war. >> let me ask the question this way. how much confidence do you have in the current commander in chief? >> well, i worry. i worry about the president's understanding of some of these issues and his contradictory articulations, and i think the roll-out of the, quote, immigration reform, was an example of a need for an orderly decision-making process in the white house, and that i think is
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probably what's plaguing them. >> you have said you like the president's national security team. does that includes what you have seen out of the national securi securi security council? >> i worry about the membership. and mr. ban non's roll as both political advisor and member of the national security council, i am very worried about. former secretary of defense yates said he is deeply concerned, so has many others who view the national security council as a-political and should not be influenced by any political influences. >> it is interesting you bring up mr. ban non. he calls himself an economic nationalist. when you hear that -- how about this. when europeans hear that, what
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do they hear? >> they feel uncertain about our trade relationships. they saw that we abandoned the tpp. they're facing the brexit problem right now. all this business with vladimir putin is very disturbing to all of us. to equate vladimir putin and the united states of america, as he was asked, you know, i guess it was bill to riley said putin is a killer and he said so are we. that is a contradiction of everything the united states has ever stood for in the 20th and 21st century. >> there's a lot of members in congress that do want to get more involved into an investigation into what russia did, what role did russia play in the election. >> there is so many questions out there that we need to understand the parameters of what's happened here. and, so, i would hold off and wait and see what happens. one thing that you and i know
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from being around this town, about being around washington, there is probably going to be some more shoes to drop. >> that's -- that's true. let me ask you this. can americans be confident that a republican controlled congress can investigate this president thoroughly, if necessary? >> i hope so, and i have to believe so. >> and then before i let you go -- >> more hope than belief. >> more hope than belief? before i let you go -- >> both. >> i am curious of your reaction to a tweet that the president sent friday night. the fake news media, failing new york times, nbc, abc, cbs, cnn is not my enemy. it is the enemy of the american people. do you believe the press is the enemy? do you believe any group of americans is the enemy of my other group of americans? >> i was talking about the period, as you know, of the new world order, a fundamental part of that new world order was the free press. i hate the press.
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i hate you especially. the fact is we need you. we need a free press. we must have it. it's vital. if you want to preserve -- i'm very serious now. if you want to preserve d ve democracy as we know it, you need to have a free press and without it i'm afraid we would lose so much of your individual liberties over time. that's how dictators get started. >> that's how dictators get started, with tweets like that? >> with, no, they get started by suppressing a free press. in other words, consolidation of power, the first thing the dictators do is shut down the press. and i'm not saying that president trump is trying to be a dictator. i'm saying we need to learn the less sons of history. >> senator mccain, i am going to leave it there. you are a student of history, that's for sure. i always appreciate you sharing your views, no matter how much
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you hate me. that's all right. >> coming up, how concerned should we do about president trump's testy relationship with the intelligencety. a former head of the cia, leon pen net ta. mom didn't have time to worry about a cracked windshield. so she scheduled at safelite.com and with safelite's exclusive "on my way text" she knew exactly when i'd be there, so she didn't miss a single shot. i replaced her windshield giving her more time for what matters most. tech: how'd ya do? player: we won! tech: nice! that's another safelite advantage. mom: thank you so much! (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace.
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. welcome back. the panel is here. donna edwards, amy walter and david brooks. david, i am going to start with you. two columns this week you had were headlined how should one resist the trump administration. that was on valentines day. what a failed trump administration looks like. you have -- that's pretty declarative in 30 days. >> enemy of the people. i am an enemy of the people. my fear of the administration as its shaken out is not so much the fash schism is that it's an nar key.
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the trump administration has named 692 of them. there is nobody home in the government. the civil service has basically opted out. the court system has given them permission to buck every. to lead you actually need to lead a government, and the government has gone awol. in one of those columns, pushing the pretty buttons, but they are not attached to anything. i have been in touch with a lot of foreign officials this week. they are noticing and they are afraid of a week united states. >> you were very upset about the withdrawal. and you were pretty angry about it. and these weak kneed republican senators and they may not fear this white house right now. that is a problem that washington seems to -- that this white house hasn't gotten control of washington. >> i think they are going to remember, given the rally yesterday that he has gotten
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deep and lasting support in red america. and i disagree with david pretty monday mentally on where we are right now and i think to queen dan rather, news is where you look. i look at bringing 3,000 jobs to arizona. i look at riens prebus's interview with you. he will find another ally who could do the sunday shows as well. it is slow. but june 7th, 1993, five months in his presidency, bill clinton is on the cover of "time" magazine, the incredible shrinking president. he is here 25 years later. it is too early. >> presidents get a lot of opportunities to reset. voters are definitely very patient on that point. but what are we seeing in 30 days? >> i think that i am much more aware now. we are 30 days into this while we in washington are pretty clear about what we're seeing
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because it is not like anything we have seen before, the disarray, the internal discome boblation, whatever you want to call it. there is a good group of americans that want to wait and see what happens. a whole bunch of people voted for this president, not because they liked him, but because they thought he was going to be able to make a difference. here comes the bottom line. a year from now we will be back and all these things he said he will be able to do alone, fix border security, fix health care, i'm going to fix jobs, they're either going to happen or they're not and whether he can get folks on his team along with him, all the people at this table at one point or another, including you, you, i know me said the republican party is falling apart. they are never going to stick with the president. right now they are, and they are not abandons him, even john mccain. >> well, look. i think that, you know, all presidencies start with a little bit of chaos, but this kind of chaos is actually different
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because where it is and at what levels. and i think, you know, the actions on flynn, on the implementation of the immigration ban, what some said was a muslim ban, this is the kind of chaos that not just this administration but no administration needs. and it's got to wrap itself up quickly because i think republicans are going to like head for the hills. >> guys, we're 30 days in. he doesn't have a national security advisors and there are seven committees that want to investigate his campaign on russia. that's a huge problem. this is not a smart call. >> you should never call a federal judge so-called. enemies is a mistake. you make enormous mistakes early, you can course construct. so there is opportunities so course correct. >> there is two levels here. the talk media thing, which he's
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great at. but then the sub stan running of government. rex tillerson could be a great secretary of state but he can't pick his deputy because someone in the white house blocks him. and then ben carson loses somebody. people all around the agencies that are trying to actually run a government are prevented because of the loyalty test. then the israeli prime minister comes in. there is no state and no defense representation. you can't run the government has one or three people in the white house. you need to lead an organization. >> and people have no one to call. you have people heads of agencies, no undersecretaries, no assistant secretaries, no deputy secretaries. you cannot run a government like this. >> we are going to pause here. but up next what happens when there is a lack of trust between the white house and the intel community? my interview with the former head of the cia and the defense department, leon panetta. across new york state, from long island to buffalo, from rochester to the hudson valley, from albany to utica,
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welcome back. senator john mccain is not the only familiar face troubled by donald trump's current turmoil presidency. just this week, leon panetta, who has been the secretary of defense told "the new york times" this. i've never been so nervous in my lifetime about what may or may not happen in washington. i don't know whether this white house is capable of responding in a careful way should this crisis be brought. i spoke with mr. panetta and asked him whether he finds believable the report this week in the wall street journal which
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you heard, that people in the intelligence community are withholding critical information from mr. trump because they don't trust him. >> no, it's not. in my experience, i have never had intelligence officers who have a responsibility to provide full information to the president and to other leaders in the country ever withhold a piece of intelligence. so it's something that certainly hasn't occurred when i was there and i doubt whether it's happened this time. >> if you were running the cia and you had an intelligence officer say, i have a sensitive piece of information, but it may be connected with this investigation that's going on with the current president, in particular russia, this is the implication that was in the wall street journal story that somehow anything at least in that spear, there is a concern about giving that to the president. would you have a hesitation of giving that information to the president? >> absolutely not.
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because your first responsibility is to provide the truth to the president. and if you start thinking about how the president is going to use it, what he's going to do with that information, then frankly, you'll never provide the truth to the president. and that's what intelligence officers are supposed to do. >> so if you were head of the cia and you knew intelligence officers were doing this, would that be a fireable offense? >> absolutely. i think any -- any time an intelligence agency withholds vital information to the president or withholds any key information to the president, that's a violation of their oath. >> so let's talk about, though, this issue with the relationship between this president and the intel community. it's rocky, to say the least. what do you hear on the moral front? >> obviously, it's -- it's not a good situation because there is a lack of trust between the
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president and the intelligence community and between the intelligence community and the president. and, you know, every time he demeans the intelligence community or accuses it of leaks or accuses it of doing things that it's not doing, that, obviously, impacts on the moral of that institution. look, these are good people. they're not republicans or democrats. they're good patriots who are trying to do their job. it's a tough job. they have to put their lives on the line in order to provide information to the president. the last thing they need is to have a president who questions their patriotism to this country and to him. >> what is the -- if this continues, if this sort of cold war between the intel community and the president continues where he believes that any bad story about him and a foreign leader or him and a situation having to do with national security is due to an intelligence leak and that's what he tells the public, what
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is the long-term impact on the cia? >> well, the bigger question is what is the long-term impact on the president of the united states? and the decisions that the president has to make with regards to foreign policies and protecting the security of the country? that's his first responsibility, is to protect the country. he can't do that without getting intelligence, without getting good intelligence as to what's going on in the world. and, so, ultimately you do have to have a relationship of trust reestablished. i hope mike pompeo, who is the new director of the cia can do that. i hope dan coats, who is the new director of intelligence, that he could help do that. i think jim mattis is trying to do that. so my hope is that ultimately that relationship can be reestablished. why? because it has to be reestablished for the shake of the country. >> but do you believe the president has a point on these
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leaks at all? do you think these leaks are coming from the intel community, and that is it is undermining his presidency? >> chuck, you know, i have been involved in politics for a long time and i have served two presidents and have worked under nine presidents. leaks are a problem that every president has complained about. >> right. >> presidents that i worked for complained about leaks. but the reality is that leaks come from all kinds of directions. the most important thing you can do to stop leaks is to establish loyalty between the people that are working for you and the president of the united states. if you establish that sense of loy loyalty, then he won't have to worry about leaks. >> leon panetta. again, if i go through all your titles, i'll run out of time. but it is always good to see you, sir, and thanks for coming on to share your views.
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>> chuck, it was good to be with you. thank you. >> before we go, a reminder of our podcast this week, a story of a high flying lobbyist and a dark tale of power and influence in washington. check it outen on itunes. it is a gripping, gripping story. when we come back, the latest thing that has a lot of americans worried, and it's something we talk about on this broadcast every single sunday. stay tuned. guys, know anything about this missing inventory? wasn't me! the cheeks don't lie, chet... irresistibly planters.
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welcome back. data download time. so, how stressed out are you about politics? the american psychological association released its annual survey on stress in america and 2016 was the first year the group add about the impact of politics. i wonder why. 49% of americans say the 2016 election is a significant amount
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of stress. 57% say the same about the current political climate and 56% are stressed about the future of the country. this stress breaks down along party lines. 72% of democrats feel that. and the levels of stress also depend on where you live. 33% of rural americans are stressed about the results. 45% of folks in the suburbs and 62% of people in urban areas. all of that not entirely shocking. urban and suburban voters were mostly for hillary clinton. now, there was a stressor that did cross party lines. majorities of both democrats and republicans say they are stressed out about the future of america. 76% of democrats and 59% of republicans. look, it's been over three months since president trump's election and it's clear the anxiety felt in its aftermath
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and the relief felt by others continues to play a role in how americans are experiencing this reality. but the future may take presidential leadership and only presidential leadership to heal. when we come back, we have something else that should be stressing this new trump white house, falling poll numbers. at e to a different company with car insurance, and i was not happy with the customer service. we have switched back over and we feel like we're back home now. the process through usaa is so effortless, that you feel like you're a part of the family. i love that i can pass the membership to my children, and that they can be protected. we're the williams family, and we're usaa members for life. call usaa today to talk about your insurance needs.
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back now with the panel. congress is away, but the opposition is not. take a look at some town halls
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from the weekend and a couple of republican districts over the last few days. here's come clips. >> health savings accounts. i'm trying to give you some details -- i'm trying -- it's okay. it's okay. >> how do you support the health savings account. >> i'm proud to have you representing our country. >> i am thankful that trump is the president. >> so that first rally was tom reed, a republican from new york. the second one was senator tim scott. he was actually doing a town hall with congressman mark stanford. does that look familiar to you to the 2009 town halls? >> it looks really familiar. you can't avoid them. some members are choosing to do
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electronic town halls. they better face them head on. >> head on the right call? >> and remember the republicans who are in office right now, more than half of them, i think it is over 60% weren't in office in 2009 and 2010. they don't know what those town halls look like and they don't know what it's like to put legislation together as difficult as this repeal and replace is going to be. this is brand-new for so many of them. but i think taking it head-on rather than looking like they are avoiding it. >> to republicans have a legislative problem to you? look at where -- >> yes. >> barack obama had already signed a giant stimulus bill. george bush's tax wut was well on its way to being completed. what major piece of legislation is off in the starting blocks? >> ti think at these town halls
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they cannot run away. they have to come with facts. this week ed told the wall street journal that obamacare is in a death spiral. humana pulled out of obamacare this week. they have to sell the message that there isn't anything left. >> it is hard to adjust to this new world because we're used to everybody defers to the white house. initiation starts there and then we react. but initiation is not starting there for the reasons we described earlier. so it is interesting to see who understands the new world and the asian leaders seem to be getting it, in japan and china. they are saying we have to be the actors. the europeans getting it. vladimir putin began to get it this week. he turned on trump and they are going to start being more aggressive. in congress they still haven't quite gotten it. republicans in congress have to s say, no, we have to lead this thing. >> eight and a half years they should have their replace bill and ready to put it in front of
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the president and the reason they don't is because they can't deliver pre-existing conditions, children under 26, making sure you're really covered for wellness. these are the things people want. and the people showing up at those town halls aren't just democrs. they're reblicans, too. >> speaking of the issue with the president's popularity. 39%/56% approve and disapprove. look, the partisan split is obvious, but i put up those independent numbers auz as independents go, so does this trump presidency, if you believbelieve these numbers. >> the democrats still have a geoff gra fi problem. democrats need to win republicans not just independents. where some of these question house races are, they need to win republicans, not just independents. the puig poll, what depressed me
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the most is do you remember when president obama came in in 2013 and said the fever is going to break on this by part son ship. the patient is in critical. it is not just the divide between d and r and i. it is the divide between gender and race and education is deeper and more significant i have ever seen. it can't continue like this, that we have two countries divided on those things for this long of time. it is super depressing. >> i will pause it here. especially when you don't have presidential leadership that is trying to unify the country. be back in less than a minute with end game and the college that president trump loves to talk about most of all.
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back now with end game. all presidents have their favorite answers that they fall back on and apparently president trump is no exception. this week no matter the question or the setting, mr. trump wound up talking about, well, see for
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yourself. >> we won by a very, very large electoral college vote. we are very honored by the vic to toir we had, 306 electoral college votes. we weren't supposed to crack 220. we got 306 because people came out and voted like they have never seen before, so that's the way it goes. i guess it was the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. >> well, it wasn't quite the biggest electoral college win since ronald reagan. his electoral votes were surpassed by barack obama twice, bill clinton twice and george w. bush once. david brooks, the question, the first time was about syrian refugees, the question the second time was about anti-seminichl. it's like if we doesn't want to
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answer the question he falls back on, well, i won. >> i don't know if there is some conditional love. a lot of people need to prove they are validated. he won the election. he wants to go back to that. but his supporters are a little transactional. he's got to deliver for them. so the numbers he should be focussing on are not what happened in the past but we had 2.3% growth in this country. right now we have 1% growth. there are 17 million ex-cons wondering what to do with their lives. >> he's got to turn this page. >> well, he keeps wanting to say -- what he wants to say is i won the greatest electoral upset in modern america. >> just say that. >> that's what he needs to say and don't call the media the enemies but mock their self-rega self-regard. he will learn how to do that and when he does, the orchestra will get into tune.
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>> i don't think that's ever going to change. >> it is a level of insecurity either how he won or the fact that he did. he needs to start talking about governing. >> it is this i alone can do this. david has been talking about i don't need anybody else. all the smart people said i couldn't win and we need government. no, we don't. i can do it by myself. >> well, he may be judged by the public on that. well, this will be a fun special for you to watch to be the. don't miss the paley center salute to 90 years. we thought we were cool at 70. don't miss it. that's all we have for today. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." >> you can see more end game in post game on the mtp facebook page.
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more americans watch nbc news than any other news organization in the world. hey there, everyone. i'm jason sew boar off. welcome to the pulse of america, where your voice can be heard in real-time. here are the stories we want your pulse on today. president trump is set to meet with candidates to replace mike flynn as national security advisor. two men reportedly said not interested because they would not have control over staff decisions. is that kind of white house micro managing is good idea? rex tillerson heads to mexico.

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